Artistic Producing Director at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center is a Point Park Alumnus Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Meet Justin Fortunato
Job title: Artistic Producing Director
Employer: Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
Degree earned: B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, 2011
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High school: Baldwin High school
Now living in: Pittsburgh's North Side
Why did you choose to study musical theatre at Point Park?
In my opinion, Point Park University offers unparalleled training for young artists.
Tell us about your current position.
I am about to enter my third season as artistic producing director. I am responsible for all of the programming of events. From our eight show subscription season - which includes musicals, plays, and dance theatre, to touring acts featuring magicians, comedians, and/or concerts - all 12 months of the year at Lincoln Park have unique programming for audiences of all ages. I also direct up to three shows a year while managing the artistic and financial success of the production program.
What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
Getting to create theatrical opportunities for audiences as well as performers. Whether it be students auditioning from the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School or professional actors from Pittsburgh and around the country, I find great joy in getting interesting people together to tell important stories.
I am also fortunate enough to continue to work at other theatrical institutions as a director and an actor. Earlier this year, I had the chance to be directed by one of my favorite professors and directors, Rich Keitel, in Prime Stage Theatre's 1984. Later this year, I will be acting in Pittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol, along with another great Point Park teacher, Jeff Howell.
What are your career goals and what role has Point Park played in helping you reach them?
Truthfully, Point Park taught me to take every opportunity presented to me, and that is exactly what I've done since graduating. I feel very blessed to be able to make a living in the theatre, and I owe Point Park for supplying me with the tools and work ethic to do so. My hope is to continue to play a small part in the creation of opportunities for artists and audience members to experience live theatre.
What tips do you have for Conservatory of Performing Arts students at Point Park?
Be open-minded, fight the urge to type yourself and always be doing something. Sharon Brady, one of my dearest professors at Point Park, would always say that no one will call you to offer you a job if you're just sitting at home. I firmly believe that as long as you keep the engine running, and keep creating, no matter how small, or how small you perceive it to be, bigger opportunities will emerge.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am grateful for the education I received at Point Park, and I use what I learned in practice every day.